Chapter 355 – Target Discovered

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Author: Kaburagi Haruka Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2579 characters
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1381 words
Editor(s): Deximus_Maximus

Most likely, the enemy had kidnapped Michelle’s parents and left the city.

This capital was surrounded by strong stone walls from all sides, so you had to pass the gate to leave. In other words, the guards should have seen them.

I rushed to the nearest gate and called out to the gate guard on duty.

“Oh, Nicole. Not on an adventure today?”
“More importantly, have you seen a cart pass here?”
“Of course I have, as many as you want. This is a capital after all, and we have a big flow of reconstruction materials too.”

His words made me finally notice it too. Even now, there was a longer than usual line of carts at the gate.

The city had taken big damage during the Goblin assault, so large amounts of wood and stone were carried in for the reconstruction.

Given the situation, one cart passing by would not have stood out.

“Then… How about ones that had strange cargo?”

I tried changing my question. Even if the carts themselves weren’t uncommon, the kidnappers were carrying Michelle’s parents with them. A cart carrying tied up and wounded people would naturally stand out, so they should have camouflaged it quite a bit.

I was asking about that.

“Strange cargo, huh… Let’s see, there was one that carried a big pile of straw. I laughed wondering what they were planning to do by carrying all that straw outside.”

Straw could be mixed with manure and used as a fertilizer, so it wasn’t such a rare thing for farmers to do. That said, there were no big fields near Raum.

This city was surrounded by a forest, so it wasn’t suitable for growing grains. Part of the food was mostly imported. Wheat and rice, in particular, were imported practically in full.

As such, preparing straw here was, in a way, unusual. And when you had a large pile of it and carried it outside on top of it, it would stand out no matter what.

Still, straw served as a good camouflage and it also allowed air to pass through. Even in large amounts, it didn’t have much weight, and there was no fear of it crushing people under.

You could say it was the ideal cargo to hide people inside and pass the gate.

“That’s it! Where did that cart head to?”
“Hmm? I think they headed towards the southern highway…”
“I suppose about an hour ago.”
“Thank you!”

This city had gates at east and west. And from there, the highway forked to north and south, allowing one to head to any direction.

I was at the eastern gate now, so going straight, I would find myself on the road leading to the Holy Tree Kingdom of Forneus. Forneus was the kingdom where the head temple of the World Tree religion was located, as well as the largest kingdom of the continent.

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On the way, the road forked north and south, but few people passed on the southern road compared to the one leading to the temple.

As such, it would be much simpler to choose that one if you wanted to avoid the human eyes.

Thanking the guard, I rushed out of the city. The guard tried to stop me, warning me that it was dangerous to leave the city on my own, but I couldn’t afford to stop now.

After advancing a few dozen meters on the highway, I reached the fork that split into north and south. This place was visible from the gate, so that’s how he knew where the cart was headed to.

I lowered my eyes and tried to find the tracks, but even if this road was less active, it wasn’t completely unused either. It seemed that several carriages had already passed through, so investigating the tracks would prove to be hard.

“I guess it’d be impossible to follow their tracks.”

That said, it’s not like I had no other means.

Even if following the tracks on the highway was impossible, I could still find them outside of it.

If they headed into the forest from the highway, there would definitely be traces of it left behind. Not to mention, they were in full armor. Considering how they forgot to erase their traces at Michelle’s house, I could assume that they weren’t used to this type of work.

In that case, the traces should still be there this time too.

As expected, at a certain distance where the guard’s eyes wouldn’t be able to reach, I discovered a place where the branches of the trees next to the highway looked unnaturally broken.

Inspecting that location, I discovered clear wheel tracks under the thick grass.

The juices of crushed grasses still haven’t dried. They shouldn’t have passed by that long ago.

I could come to the conclusion as not even the gouged ground looked dried. As long as I didn’t lose track of these traces, I would most likely catch up to them.

They seemed to be relatively subtle while derailing from the main road, but past a certain point, they seemed to have abandoned any thought of covering their tracks.

I could see the traces even if I didn’t check from up close, so I was able to follow it while running.

After loitering in the forest for a while, I discovered a small hut ahead of where I was advancing. It appeared to be a huntsmen’s hut used as a shelter from wind and rain, so it had a crude outside appearance that was only enough to do its job.

Next to it, one cart was stopped, with a pile of straw casually unloaded next to it.

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Given how they have discarded straw—which should have been important to warrant carrying—as if it had served its purpose, I was certain that this cart was my target.

There were no signs of people around, so I erased my presence and approached the cart. Inspecting it, it was without a doubt the cart Michelle’s family used.

It has a small bloodstain on it too.

“Looks like they aren’t severely injured, so I suppose that’s a relief?”

If they were fatally injured, the cart would’ve had puddles of blood. Seeing that that wasn’t the case, I heaved a sigh of relief for the time being.

Having said that, that didn’t guarantee that they would remain safe.

Using the carriage’s height, I climbed up on the hut’s roof. It had a window, but it was a drop window, and opening it could get my presence busted.

Besides, the hut was pretty small, so just the act of opening the window would most likely stand out. The difference in the sunlight entering in would be apparent.

Thus, I put my hopes on how half-heartedly the hut was made and looked for the gaps from above.

Fortunately, I was both small and light, so my climbing didn’t give rise to any weird creaks.

The roof had wood knots here and there, and even leaving them out, there were still several holes here and there.

I silently peeped down from one of those holes.

“Good grief, making us do something like this.”

I heard those words from inside. The dim room was lit by a lantern, so I could clearly identify their facial features.

I saw uncle left in the corner of the hut. Along with auntie who was tied up.

Uncle was bleeding from the mouth, and sometimes even coughed out blood. There was a chance that his internal organs were damaged. If that was true, he needed healing, and fast.

“Don’t say that. We have no future to look forward to anyway. We can’t go on without making pocket money through this kind of dirty work.”
“If only we could have participated in the defensive battle. The second company bunch that does outside patrol have all gotten popular now, you know?”
“But in exchange, we remained safe, didn’t we?”
“Come on, some Goblin’s got nothing on me.”

There were three men inside the hut. I didn’t remember them, but judging from their conversation, they seemed to have been some corrupted knights who had missed their spotlight.

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At any rate, I managed to discover my rescue targets, so it’s going well so far.


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